After the NFL Draft, the next big milestone in the offseason is the official release of the NFL schedule.
The opponents for each NFL team are pre-determined based on the fact that we already know which divisions will face each other.
Yet, it's still exciting to find out at which point of the season the matchups will occur.
Primetime games definitely have more allure than a traditional 3:25pm kickoff, and the schedule has Dallas playing in six games under the bright lights.
No matter which team you root for, there is no doubt that everyone looks forward to seeing when and where Jerry Joneses ‘Boys will play.
In the first part of this three part series, we begin to rank the non-divisional games from least exciting to those we most look forward to watching.
As you can see in the graphic, the Cowboys have several tantalizing matchups outside of the usual division foes.
The AFC East and NFC West possess formidable opponents, and the extra road game for Dallas is against a Justin Herbert led Los Angeles Chargers team.
In which spot on my list does your most anticipated game fall?
Eleven games to rank. Let's get started.
11. Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams
When: Week 8, Sunday 12pm kickoff
Key acquisitions: None
Key losses: LB Bobby Wagner, OLB Leonard Floyd
Last meeting: 2022, Week 5; Cowboys 22, Rams 10
Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams will visit AT&T Stadium looking to avenge a loss on their home turf last season.
The matchup between these two teams has somewhat lost its luster after a disappointing 5-12 season from the Rams in 2022.
Rams' General Manager Les Snead has not done much to bolster their roster this offseason, losing more impact players than they have acquired.
Although they still have some weapons like Cooper Kupp and the aforementioned Aaron Donald, I don't believe this version of the Rams possesses sufficient firepower on either side of the ball to put up much of a fight.
For that reason, this matchup lands last on the list.
10. Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers
When: Week 11, Sunday 12pm kickoff
Key acquisitions: TE Hayden Hurst, S Vonn Bell, WR Adam Thielen, RB Miles Sanders, WR DJ Chark
Key losses: C Pat Elflein
Last meeting: 2021, Week 4; Cowboys 36, Panthers 28
Carolina Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer was given free rein by Owner David Tepper to revitalize the team.
Fitterer responded by opening the checkbook to sign a whopping 13 unrestricted free agents prior to the NFL Draft.
The Panthers also completed a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bears to acquire the number one overall pick of the draft, where they selected QB Bryce Young from Alabama.
Carolina signed veteran quarterback and former Dallas Cowboy Andy Dalton, who is likely in line to start unless they choose to throw Young to the deep end of the pool at the start of the season.
Considering this game will be played in Week 11, it's possible Dallas would be facing the young rookie instead of the seasoned veteran.
Only time will tell.
9. Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals
When: Week 3, Sunday 3:25pm kickoff
Key acquisitions: LB Kyzir White, OL Kelvin Beachum, DT Carlos Watkins
Key losses: DT JJ Watt, C Rodney Hudson, WR Chosen Anderson, OLB Markus Golden
Last meeting: 2021, Week 17; Cowboys 22, Cardinals 25
The Arizona Cardinals are another franchise that is in a state of flux.
Former General Manager Steve Keim has stepped away from the team, and has been replaced by Monti Ossenfort.
Ossenfort filled the head coach position left vacant by Kliff Kingsbury with former Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
Unless a move is made by Arizona prior to the season starting, a rumored trade target of the Cowboys will be suiting up against them.
WR DeAndre Hopkins was being openly shopped by the Cardinals' front office, but they ultimately were not able to find suitable compensation to move him.
QB Kyler Murray is another player that is exciting to watch, and will definitely keep the Cowboys' defense on their toes.
Gannon's familiarity with defending the Dallas offense will be something to watch in this matchup.
8. Dallas Cowboys vs Seattle Seahawks
When: Week 13, Thursday 7:15pm kickoff
Key acquisitions: LB Bobby Wagner, LB Devin Bush
Key losses: C Austin Blythe, G Gabe Jackson
Last meeting: 2020 Week 3; Cowboys 31, Seahawks 38
This would mark the first time since the 2011 season that the Cowboys will face the Seattle Seahawks without Russell Wilson under center.
Geno Smith, former second round pick of the New York Jets, revamped his career in 2022 after beating out Drew Lock for the starting job.
The Seahawks, still led by ageless Head Coach Pete Carroll, possess a potent offense.
D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Kenneth Walker III are returning players who will now be accompanied by first round pick WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
I expect this to be an exciting and high scoring game, despite it being a short week for both teams playing on Thursday Night Football.
Stay tuned for part two of this three part series. Matchups seven through four will be detailed in the next article.